“Broken heart syndrome may be misdiagnosed as a heart attack because the symptoms and test results are similar. In fact, tests show dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances that are typical of a heart attack. But unlike a heart attack, there’s no evidence of blocked heart arteries in broken heart syndrome.
In broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart temporarily enlarges and doesn’t pump well, while the rest of your heart functions normally or with even more forceful contractions. Researchers are just starting to learn the causes, and how to diagnose and treat it.”
The idea that you can die of a broken heart gained the limelight when Debbie Reynolds died the day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher. After Reg’s grandfather died, his grandmother died just six weeks later. Former pro-football player Doug Flutie’s mom had a sudden heart attack and died just an hour after his dad died.
I have no doubt this is possible given how Reg’s death affected me. I have a strong heart due to my vegan diet and my daily exercise regimen. But I distinctly remember running in a 4-mile race after Reg passed away and feeling as if I would have a heart attack. My heart was racing and felt as if it would explode. I obviously don’t know what a real heart attack feels like, but I had run numerous races in the past. This had never happened in my past. I guess the stress and the fact that my heart was so broken affected my heart physically. As I’ve explained in an earlier chapter of this book, my friend Laurence died suddenly from heart problems. He was physically active and seemed healthy, so I often wonder if he died of a broken heart.
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